The Akamai Foundation plays a central role in making life better for billions of people, billions of times a day, one community at a time, by volunteering, caring for our communities, and supporting opportunities.
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Beyond grant funding we look to build upon exciting work in our communities. Showing up in multiple ways for our STEM education and community partners makes us unique in this space.
Akamai Partners with the Children’s Museum in Costa Rica
Akamai Partners with STEM from Dance at Nasdaq MarketSite bell ringing ceremony in New York
Akamai Partners with the Museum of Science Boston on the “Engineering is Elementary” Program
Photo taken at The Miami NAF Student Conference in April 2022 and shared by Akamai employee Jennifer A
A team of employees based in Florida worked to engage local schools. They held an “IT Career Conversations” event at Miami Sunset High School, showed a “Day in the Life of a Cybersecurity Analyst” at Pace High School, participated in a “Data Science and Security” discussion at Ingram Elementary School, and took part in a “Career in Cybersecurity” discussion at ITWomen Summer Robotics Camp.
In addition to connecting with kids about what a future career in IT might look like, the Akamai Foundation provided a grant for the 2022 Mega NAF Student Industry Conference for Miami Dade County Public school system, which hosted nearly 1,800 participants.
Creating a pipeline from education to employment for underrepresented groups in the tech sector is a central goal for Akamai and the Akamai Foundation. Making sure that we have diverse teams creating our technologies tomorrow means making sure there are educational opportunities in STEM for all today. 2022 saw the continuation of our previous efforts and some very exciting expansions.
Our exceptional partner organizations provide students of all levels access to education — from the connections to the internet necessary to communicate, to the foundational stability needed to study. In 2022, the Akamai Foundation disbursed more than $2 million in grant funding to 60 partners globally.
One of our ongoing goals is to provide equal access to quality STEM education opportunities for K-12 students. 2022 saw both the continuation of our work with a number of trusted partners and the beginning of several new collaborations.
In 2022, the Akamai Foundation launched a new grant program, the Empower STEM Grant Program. The primary goal of the program is to broaden the diversity of talent coming into the tech industry by increasing currently underrepresented populations in college, tech career pathways and technology entrepreneurship. Not only is it essential that our digital tools are created by diverse minds, it’s essential that we develop partnerships to build pipelines into digital-focused careers. Our partnerships aim to disrupt existing paradigms for finding and supporting talent, create sustainable solutions to build a more diverse tech ecosystem, and scale effective approaches in ways that will multiply impact and potentially lead to increased impact nationally and globally.
In its inaugural year, $1 million in grant funding was awarded to 11 organizations helping to develop, strengthen and diversify the tech workforce pipeline
Global volunteerism is core to the Akamai experience. Every employee has 16 hours of paid time off to spend volunteering for an organization or cause of their choice. In total, employees logged more than 5,250 volunteer hours in 2022 across individual volunteer efforts and Danny Lewin Community Care Days events.
“We work hard to build the best products to protect people online … we can and should also take every opportunity to give back — to the community, the world, and the people working with us.”
Danny Lewin co-founded Akamai Technologies and was believed to be the first victim of the 9/11 attacks, Danny was killed at age 31 when he tried to stop the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11. One of the ways we continue to embody his passion, enthusiasm, and energy as part of Akamai culture is through the Danny Lewin Community Care Days (DLCCD) program. As part of Akamai’s core value of giving back, employees united worldwide in 2022 to take part in over 71 activities in 18 countries around the globe, totaling more than 3,000 volunteer hours choosing from a variety of activities that best fit their life, interests, and schedule.
Check out this video from our employees to learn more about their incredible work that honors Danny’s legacy and powers the Danny Lewin Community Care Days program:
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are an essential part of the Akamai community, providing opportunities for personal development in the workplace, raising awareness of minority groups, and helping to advance inclusion and diversity efforts at Akamai. ERGs facilitate opportunities for employees to engage with their communities, providing invaluable insight about what is needed on the ground. Each year, each of Akamai’s nine ERGs partner with the Foundation to support causes of importance with grant funds. In 2022, 29 organizations were selected to receive grants.
Here are a few examples of this year’s ERG partnerships:
One of Akamai’s oldest ERGs, out@Akamai serves the interests of the LGBTQIA+ community. After surveying its members, out@Akamai chose to award a grant to the Trevor Project in support of their crisis hotline for LGBTQIA+ teens. out@Akamai is looking forward to strengthening ties with the Trevor Project and supporting the organization in other ways in 2023.
Hardship has no boundary, and can touch all of us. In 2020, the Foundation established the Akamai Compassion Fund, an employee hardship fund focused on providing personal grants for employees facing difficult and unexpected circumstances. The spirit of “One Akamai” is reflected through this important program that enables employees to be there for one another.
“To be honest, I have never thought about applying for this Compassion Fund, despite making multiple donations to it. However, bad things can happen to anyone at any time, and we never know who will be the next. The grant provided by the fund really helped me get through a difficult period, and I am truly grateful for that. If you are facing difficulties, please remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Let’s all just try to ‘pay it forward.’”.
Anonymous, Akamai Employee and Compassion Fund Grant Recipient
Yulia’s Dream is dedicated to the memory of Yulia Zdanovska, a 21-year-old graduate of the National University of Kyiv, a silver medalist at the 2017 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad, and a teacher for the “Teach for Ukraine” program who was killed by a Russian-fired missile in her home city of Kharkiv. The program is an initiative of the Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering and Science for High School Students (PRIMES) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the launch was supported in part by a grant from the Akamai Foundation. Yulia’s Dream is a free math enrichment and research program for exceptional high school students from Ukraine. During the summer, 48 Ukrainian students studied online in 16 reading groups. All these groups will complete their studies by May 2023 and make presentations at the Spring-Term PRIMES Virtual Conference.
Yulia’s Dream is dedicated to the memory of Yulia Zdanovska, a 21-year-old graduate of the National University of Kyiv, a silver medalist at the 2017 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad, and a teacher for the “Teach for Ukraine” program who was killed by a Russian-fired missile in her home city of Kharkiv. The program is an initiative of the Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering and Science for High School Students (PRIMES) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the launch was supported in part by a grant from the Akamai Foundation. Yulia’s Dream is a free math enrichment and research program for exceptional high school students from Ukraine. During the summer, 48 Ukrainian students studied online in 16 reading groups. All these groups will complete their studies by May 2023 and make presentations at the Spring-Term PRIMES Virtual Conference.
“After the war, Ukraine needs to be rebuilt, and we want it to become an advanced European country. This requires a lot of young people who know math, who are good with science, especially researchers, and we want to help build that pipeline.”
Professor Pavel Etingof, Yulia’s Dream Chief Research Advisor, on WBUR
The Akamai Foundation Board is composed of leaders within Akamai spanning our global communities. This diversity of background allows us to make sure that we are considering philanthropy from all perspectives.
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA Sales Akamai, UK
Executive Advisor and Former CEO Akamai, USA
Chief Marketing Officer
Vice President & Managing Director, IT/ India Office
Lauren Van Wazer
Vice President, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Akamai, USA
Chief Human Resources Officer Akamai, USA
Director, Corporate Philanthropy Akamai, USA
Associate General Counsel
Vice President, Finance and Treasury Akamai, USA
Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement Akamai, USA
In 2022, we continued to strengthen and build upon our global partnerships, collaborate with Akamai employees, and drive positive social change. Looking forward to 2023, we will continue serving our global communities by partnering with employees and community partners in meaningful ways to build momentum addressing our most challenging societal issues to drive lasting change.
Thank you to WilmerHale for their ongoing philanthropic pro bono legal support and guidance.
This report, published March 28, 2023, speaks as of the date it is published. Neither Akamai nor any of its affiliates assume any responsibility or obligation to update or revise any such information, data, opinions or activities. This report does not, and is not intended to create any relationship, rights or obligations, legal or otherwise, and you should not rely upon this report to do so. Our goals and philanthropic initiatives are aspirations. They are not guarantees or promises that we will meet all or any of our goals. Any quantitative data and metrics regarding our philanthropic activities are estimates and may be based on assumptions or developing standards. The inclusion of information and data in this report is not an indication that such information or data or the subject matter of such information or data is material to Akamai for purposes of applicable securities laws or otherwise. This report and the information contained in this report are not incorporated by reference into and are not a part of any offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of the Company pursuant to any offering registered under or any offering exempt from the Securities Act of 1933.
Katalyst Education is a Polish organization based in Warsaw. Since 2015, they have been developing free educational resources for teachers and students. Akamai’s grant to Katalyst Education is allowing them to continue their work around production of self directed study materials focused on engineering.
The Katalyst Education Team — Provided by Anna Stokowska, Team Leader & Project Manager for Katalyst Education
From the very beginning, our video lessons are designed to level the playing field in education: They are free, we publish them under Creative Common licenses, and most importantly — thanks to the fact that they are created by teachers and 100% adapted to the core curriculum — they are primarily used to be able to make up at home for the material covered in school. In addition, for over half a year, all our films have Ukrainian subtitles so that children with refugee experience who found themselves in Poland after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine could participate in Polish education.
Team Manager for Katalyst Education
Innovators for Purpose (iFp) is a BIPOC-led nonprofit that encourages young people, especially those from historically marginalized groups, to pursue math and science based careers through programs that equip students with actionable skills and provide opportunities to put those skills to work. Akamai’s grant to iFp supported the work of iFp Studios, a design group for teens ages 14 to 18 that allows them to apply digital skills to social justice issues.
iFp Teens Gain Insight into Design and Innovation: Touring IDEO’s Cambridge Office – photo provided by Michael Dawson, CEO and Co-Founder of Innovators for Purpose
[In Cambridge you have] all of this amazing science and technology right in this one square mile. And young people are walking by it each and every day without any idea of what’s happening inside those buildings. We tapped young people on the shoulders, introduced them to worlds they never experienced, and watched them bloom. I worked in high tech for 20 years and did some other things. But from a fulfillment perspective, nothing’s come close to this. It’s by far the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.
Michael K. Dawson
CEO and Co-founder of Innovators for Purpose
The Sarigato Foundation supports education and development of children and youth from difficult environments. The Akamai Foundation’s grant supports the Hakersi project, organized by the Sarigato Foundation, which organizes remote and in person classes for kids to participate in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programs in Minecraft Edu Edition. As part of these sessions, children learned cooperation, creative problem solving, planning and digital literacy, and foundational skills necessary for STEM workplaces. Children from Poland and Ukraine participated in the project, creating a school of the future, an amusement park, and a campsite where in-game boating competitions were held.
Group of kids at a stationary class — Provided by Iwoda Duda from Sarigato Foundation
I really enjoyed the class where we built and learned in Minecraft. In a group of four, we built the city of the future together. I was responsible for inventing a modern way of delivering food to the city, but in the end, after talking with the group, we came to the conclusion that it’s good to eat organic food and everyone [needed] their own garden. We planned together, discussed what is needed to implement our ideas. I really enjoyed it and would like to participate in such a project again.
14 year old program participant
The Akshara Foundation operates on the principle that “quality education is an undeniable right of every child,” and technology is a major avenue to achieve that. With help from the Akamai Foundation, Akshara was able to expand the Building Blocks app, a smartphone application focused on math education for children.
Children enjoying a math game together, Building Blocks, developed by Akshara Foundation — shared with permission from the Akshara Foundation
Children have played over 3 million games on the platform. On the Google Play store, we saw an additional 200,000 plays over the course of the year. Out of these, 300,000 challenge activities were completed — a 9.5% increase over the previous year. One million practice activities were completed in the last year — a 3.9% increase over the previous year.
Head of Math Program for the Akshara Foundation
Fast Forward is a startup accelerator focused on tech nonprofits. Operating much like other accelerators, it works to provide support and resources to early stage startups. However, the startups it supports are exclusively nonprofit organizations focused on tech solutions for social problems. In 2022, the Akamai Foundation supported Fast Forward’s mission with a grant to aid in the creation of a BIPOC founders network within the Fast Forward community.
Fast Forward cohort — Provided by Kendall Arthur from Fast Forward
The Akamai Foundation was super generous and worked with Fast Forward so we could develop a portfolio of tech nonprofits that were working specifically on diversity in tech. [Since we started working with Akamai] we’ve met a ton of Akamai employees that were just gonzo for using their professional skills to give back to social causes that they cared deeply about.
Co-founder and Executive Director of Fast Forward
NPower prepares trainees with technical knowledge and certifications that are relevant in today’s marketplace. NPower serves more than 1,800 trainees per year, of which over 85% are people of color. Akamai’s support ensures that NPower can provide free advanced training programs and certifications in cybersecurity and cloud computing to young adults from underserved communities. Akamai’s support also helps NPower serve military populations pursuing digital careers.
Students at Training Program — Photo provided by Matt Velez from NPower
We are honored that the Akamai Foundation selected NPower to build alternative pathways to high-growth careers in tech. The generous grant allows us to grow our advanced training programs in cybersecurity and expand internship opportunities for our students. This is a powerful partnership that will have tremendous impacts on the underrepresented young adults, women of color, and military veterans we serve, and will help them obtain the valuable training, job placement and support services needed to advance their tech careers. It also is a powerful statement on the importance of a diverse talent pipeline.
CEO of NPower
Associate to Master’s degree Pathway for Technology (A2M4Tech) is a new development program run by Northeastern University. A2M4Tech addresses institutional barriers that have long slowed progress in achieving equity in computer science. The program combines academic study with work by providing full-time employment opportunities for students while they pursue their degrees. In 2021, the Akamai Foundation was able to provide A2M4Tech with a founding grant. In 2022, we continued to support them and help build out aspects of the program, with the first cohort enrolling in September 2022.
Student at Northeastern University — Photo provided by Joseph Harari, Success Coach at A2M4Tech
The Akamai scholarship is an investment in my future education and my dream of chasing a better life for myself, my family, and society as I aspire to become a cybersecurity professional. […] (A2M4Tech’s) guidance and mentorship have been invaluable and have played a significant role in shaping my career and academic success. Once again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your investment in me and your thoughtful scholarship. Without your kind generosity, it wouldn’t be possible to make my dream a reality.
Student involved in A2M4Tech Program